If I’m the executor of a Will that includes a home, 2 cars and a small amount of cash, what my exact responsibilities?

UPDATED: Nov 22, 2014

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If I’m the executor of a Will that includes a home, 2 cars and a small amount of cash, what my exact responsibilities?

I do not have a lot of money.

Asked on November 22, 2014 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for our loss.  The fees of an estate are not paid from the personal funds of an executor, but rather the estate pays the fees.  Now, that is the rule but in reality I can understand how getting the matter started could require an outlay of cash from you - which will be returned to you  - at the onset.  You need to file a Petition to be appointed as the Executor of the estate in the county in which the decedent resided at the time of their death.  Along with that comes Notice to beneficiaries listed in the Will and Notice to those that would have inherited should there have been no Will (intestacy). Lawyers are helpful and again, their fee is paid from estate funds.  I am going to give you a link to Union County Surrogate Court which is an explanation of the general process. It may differ slightly in your county but at least you have a starting off point.  Good luck.


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